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Count the Cost

November 16, 2012

What has your Christianity cost you?  If your Christianity hasn’t cost you something are you truly a Believer in Jesus Christ? 

I recently read an incredible article on the Seeker Sensitive Church Movement and I was reminded that I once enjoyed this type of “christianity”.  These churches appeal to man with a man centered theology.  It’s all about you and that sells well today.  They don’t need to talk about ugly things like repentance, submission and church authority.  That won’t keep butts in pews.  They’ll run out the doors faster than you can flash a Joel Osteen smile.

I’ve been thinking about this subject for a while now; it’s been sitting in my Ideas Folder for about a week.  I really wanted to get this one right and lay a couple things on the line.  Take a risk at offending people.  Not for the sake of offense but for the sake of the gospel.  If we read our bibles with even a cursory glance we know the gospel offends don’t we?  If we are truly living out our lives to the glory of Christ the gospel will rub people the wrong way?

2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 

Paul is making this as a statement of fact, but tucked into this little verse is the word desire.  What is your desire, because you can live a life going to church and being comfortable in your little world and never bother anyone?  That’s pretty simple it takes very little effort.  So the question still stands what has it cost you, must there be a cost?

Luke 14:26-33 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.  And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it – lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’  Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.  So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

The Lord tells us in very clear language there is a cost.

Do I really need to hate my family?  John Mac Arthur commenting from The MacArthur Study Bible: The “hatred” called for here is actually a lesser love.  Jesus was calling His disciples to cultivate such a devotion to Him that their attachment to everything else – including their own lives – would seem like hatred by comparison.

It might cost your family.  You must be willing to forsake your family and familial relationships for the sake of Christ.  Is He more important to you than your family, your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and even your own life?  This is really hard stuff.  I love my family as most people do but are they more important to me than Christ?  Many will say “Well He’d never ask me to give them up.” He might not, but He might.  Are you willing?

It might cost your wealth.  Luke 18:22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing.  Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me.”   Jesus knew this man was unwilling to part with his wealth so the Lord exposed His heart.  What is your heart?

It might cost your reputation.  Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”  For you to be persecuted for His sake you need to speak for His sake.  Have you shared the “Good News” with anyone lately?  You realize that good news is good right?  You might be thinking something like this, “Preach the gospel.  Use words if necessary.”

I respectfully disagree with this statement.  I wonder how many have been saved without hearing from a preacher and I don’t just mean a paid preacher.  I’m a preacher and you’re a preacher if you’re a saint (Romans 10:14).  Would Lydia have been saved if Paul had just gone into Macedonia and performed public service (Acts 16:14)? In my loudest voice NO!  This is a common argument from those unwilling to put themselves at risk to actually speak the good news.

Believer you must live a life that brings God glory, but you must open your mouth and speak.  It’s a matter of obedience and submission to God’s word and if you are saved someone shared the good news with you.  It’s your reasonable service to the One that paid the highest cost possible.

So today I hope you will count the cost and examine your life.  If Christianity is not costing you, maybe you don’t understand Christianity.

2 Corinthians 13:5-6 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.  But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.

Kevin

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2 Comments
  1. Tammy Sandercock permalink

    Wonderfully put, Kevin. I praise God for your boldness in speaking His truth.

    It has been months since my 20 year old son has spoken to me. His life resembles mine, pre-salvation, and I love him too much not to speak God’s truth into his life. He just doesn’t want to hear it anymore. My 25 year old daughter is immersed in the Charismatic culture and our conversations are usually based on “truth” as defined by her experiences vs. truth as defined by scripture. These can be challenging conversations…

    These are my children. As a mom it is heartbreaking not to have the kind of relationships with them I desire. However, separation from them on earth due to preaching the gospel and speaking God’s truth is nothing compared to possible separation from them for all eternity because I said nothing. I am to make sure that they have heard the gospel and of the One they are to call on; but praise be to God that He is sovereign and my children’s salvation is in His righteous, almighty hands.

    I’d love to be able to say I’m always perfectly ok that my son won’t speak to me and my daughter is speaking in tongues, but that’s just not the case. But I can say this without hesitation – God’s amazing grace is amazingly sufficient, and He is worthy to be praised, especially in the storm.

    • Praise God Sister Tammy…

      1 Thessalonians 2:2 But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated in Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.

      Ephesians 6:19-20 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

      We are either obedient or disobedient, I just don’t see any other choice. May the Lord do all His good pleasure.

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